First Take panelists Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless continued to discuss the Ray Rice suspension on this morning's episode, and Smith seized on the opportunity to say some deeply stupid things about the responsibility women have to not provoke men into violently attacking them.
This is just a train wreck, and Stephen A. doesn't seem to realize just how dumb his monologue is until it's way too late. His central point here, to which he keeps returning after throwing out caveats about how domestic violence is not OK, is that if you are a woman who doesn't want to be beaten by men, you should make sure to do your part by not giving them a reason to do so.
"We also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can," Smith says, "about elements of provocation."
Consider this the culmination of much of the media's embarrassing and tone-deaf handling of the Ray Rice situation. It can't get any dumber than this, right?
Here's a full transcript of Smith's rambling:
It's not about him, then. It's about you, and here's what I mean by that. We keep talking about the guys. We know you have no business putting your hands on a woman. I don't know how many times I got to reiterate that. But as a man who was raised by women, see I know what I'm going to do if somebody touches a female member of my family. I know what I'm going to do, I know what my boys are going to do. I know what, I'm going to have to remind myself that I work for the Worldwide Leader, I'm going to have to get law enforcement officials involved because of what I'm going to be tempted to do. But what I've tried to employ the female members of my family, some of who you all met and talked to and what have you, is that again, and this what, I've done this all my life, let's make sure we don't do anything to provoke wrong actions, because if I come, or somebody else come, whether it's law enforcement officials, your brother or the fellas that you know, if we come after somebody has put their hands on you, it doesn't negate the fact that they already put their hands on you. So let's try to make sure that we can do our part in making sure that that doesn't happen. Now you got some dudes that are just horrible and they're going to do it anyway, and there's never an excuse to put your hands on a woman. But domestic violence or whatever the case may be, with men putting their hands on women, is obviously a very real, real issue in our society. And I think that just talking about what guys shouldn't do, we got to also make sure that you can do your part to do whatever you can do to make, to try to make sure it doesn't happen. We know they're wrong. We know they're criminals. We know they probably deserve to be in jail. In Ray Rice's case, he probably deserves more than a 2-game suspension which we both acknowledged. But at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation. Not that there's real provocation, but the elements of provocation, you got to make sure that you address them, because we've got to do is do what we can to try to prevent the situation from happening in any way. And I don't think that's broached enough, is all I'm saying. No point of blame.
Update: Stephen A. Smith responds to criticism, it does not go well.